ENGR 450 is a new multidisciplinary capstone design course at the University of Michigan. Teams of students from engineering and science departments work together on project design and prototype fabrication. Industry experts mentor design teams and give guest lectures.
The team projects are part of larger research and development programs in government and industry. The winter 2006 course will include joint projects with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Aerospace Corporation, Astrobiology Institute, Cameron Balloons, Student Space Systems Fabrication Laboratory, Advanced Technology Center, and Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
ENGR 450 is a semester course. However, students are encouraged to continue their projects through summer research or summer internships. For example: One team project will be the design and fabrication of a laboratory simulator of the thrusters of Mars Phoenix Lander. This project is part of an upcoming Mars mission and selected students will be able to continue the research after the semester is over.
The field of engineering still requires rigorous training in engineering specialties. However it also requires new engineers to jump right into complex projects working with teams from several disciplines. ENG 450 is providing Michigan students and the companies that hire them a head start on working together on multidisciplinary design projects.